John Ransom

It’s not the fair tax or flat tax that most conservatives dream of, but presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty’s tax plan shows that he’s serious about tax reform.

He couples tax reform and spending restraints as the keys to renewed American prosperity.

“I’m willing to tell Americans the hard truth,” says Pawlenty. “And I believe Americans are ready to hear it.  But the truth about our economy isn’t hard at all. Markets work. Barack Obama’s central planning doesn’t....  It’s not the American way.”

Pawlenty says that he likes to draw lines-in-the-sand on tough issues.

But when he opened up a major policy speech at the University of Chicago on Tuesday, calling for spending restraints and tax cuts, he didn’t just draw a line for the GOP against which the Democrats will have a hard time crossing, he built a berm that can be manned by millions of conservative activists.

In contrast to the micromanaged economy of Obama and his advisors that's grasping for breath, Pawlenty addressed big picture economic issues with specific proposals that would encourage free markets to work again and put America back to work.

The would-be GOP nominee and former governor of Minnesota advocated for three tax rates for individuals: Zero for those already not paying taxes; ten percent for incomes up to $50,000 ($100,000 for married couples) and twenty-five percent for incomes over $100,000.

Pawlenty also proposed to make investment income tax-free and abolish inheritance taxes, while calling for a real balanced budget.

“A balanced federal budget shouldn’t be a political sound bite.  It should be the law of the land," said Pawlenty according to the WSJ.

“As one of 49 governors operating with a balanced budget requirement, I balanced 4 biennial budgets in my two terms as governor of Minnesota.  And I know the only reason our legislature ever gave me a balanced budget was because — under our constitution — they had to.’

Pawlenty’s not a guy who skirts controversy either to accomplish his goals. When he says he wants spending reductions, his track record shows he means it.    

In 2005, as governor, he forced the shutdown of Minnesota’s government for a month over a budget impasse. And he’s taken a no-compromise stand on Washington’s current debt ceiling and budget issues.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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